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The Sudanese Research and Education Network (SudREN) successfully hosted the 8th Council of Members cluster of Meetings in Khartoum Sudan at the end of March 2013. From logistics for entry visas to the actual schedule of activities, participants were amazed as if it wasn’t SudREN’s first time to host an event of the Alliance.
The Council of Members is the highest policy body of UbuntuNet Alliance which sustains the need and will for regional collaboration. Each member NREN sends a representative and they meet annually together with the Board to among other things fill vacancies on the Board and approve the Annual Report and Audited Financial Statement.
The 8th Council of Members adopted the Annual Report for 2013 and Audited Financial Statements. The meeting also adopted a resolution to transfer full control and ownership of UbuntuNet Alliance as registered in the Netherlands along with all its assets and liabilities, to UbuntuNet Alliance registered as a Trust in Malawi.
Some may not understand here. The Alliance was initially registered as an association in Amsterdam in 2006 – this is probably the legal entity we all know! Then the Board decided later that the Alliance should be registered in Malawi and this was completed in 2013.
Normally, the Council of Members meeting is a two hour formal meeting that follows an agenda. The rest of the time before departure is left to the hosting NREN to decide how to keep participants busy and entertained.
The schedule of events surrounding the Council of Members Meeting in Khartoum was rich and exciting. Wednesday afternoon, a visit to Sudatel’s data center left many thinking how unbelievably huge and sophisticated the facility is.
This was followed by a visit to the University of Khartoum (UofK) and then to the National Museum where the history of the country covering pre-historic era to its Christian role and on to its present Moslem period. The day ended at a delicious dinner at the University of Khartoum Guest House hosted by the Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University. Each got back with a gift from the host –– a beautiful and nicely packaged plaque bearing the  logo of the UofK. 
Thursday afternoon, after the Council of Members Meeting in the morning, was the best of it – the Nile Cruise! We were joined by SudREN staff on a boat and headed south east on the Blue Nile. The river is beautiful and the cruise gave us an opportunity to reflect on how significant the Nile river is. The cruise was complimented by a bus ride to the confluence of the two Niles – water on the White Nile is fast as compared to that on the Blue. The day ended with a dinner hosted by SudREN, where we were entertained a local dance troupe.
Some of us had to leave early the following morning at 3:30am. We all left the city satisfied with the country’s natural beauty and warm welcome by SudREN and UofK.
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